There are so many King Crimson retrospective albums on the market that all but the most carefully attentive fans must to be hopelessly confused. Cirkus, great as it is in terms of content, doesn't help matters any. Pay attention now: whereas 1998's Absent Lovers (also a two-disc live album) documented King Crimson's 1984 tour (in support of Three of a Perfect Pair, the last album the band made before taking a ten-year break), Cirkus includes live material spanning the band's entire career, from its earliest 1969 lineup to its later double-trio configuration.
This gig appears to be a testimony to the recuperative powers of John Wetton’s constitution. Having been out partying in the company of David Enthoven and Richard Palmer-James the night before in Munich, he still manages an impressive performance on Doctor Diamond and indeed throughout the rest of the gig. Though the good Doctor would forever elude them in the studio it seems that the band really beginning to find the soul of this song in concert. Fracture has a risky quality tonight; Bruford is in an adventurous mood whilst David’s tron is a touch out of tune.
This is three-CD compilation released by Mellow Records as a King Crimson tribute. Among the performers are some of the most prominent contemporary progressive bands, with a wide variety ranging from the old-fashioned spaghetti-prog of Germinale or Malibran to the jazzcore ardour of Anatrofobia and Caboto. Some of the cover versions are quite calligraphic while others reshape the compositions more deeply (Nema Niko and Comfort bring in some electronica, Mariposa show their chamber-punk attitude - and their awful English pronounciation, Mosaic Orchestra almost have a fanfare sound), but they're all substantially faithful and well-played, with many great renditions and a very good overall result.